Pol ties to gambling have implications for state races

On May 5, the state's Supreme Judicial Court will take up the question of Attorney General Martha Coakley's rejection of a ballot referendum to repeal the Massachusetts casino law. She concluded in December, 2011 that the referendum should be a no-go. The repeal, it seems, would break the implied contract between the gaming (the industry's preferred synonym for …

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Palestine/Israel negotiations: no partners for peace

The latest  bad news from the Middle East is that the Palestinian Authority (the Fatah faction) has entered a "unity pact" with militant group Hamas, which has pledged never  to recognize the right of Israel to exist. The talks were set to end next week, and, even before the "unity pact," it was highly uncertain …

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U.S. to Ukraine: another broken pledge?

Life has taken a Cold War Turn, and I find myself almost missing Ronald Reagan and his willingness to stand up to the Russians.  Ten years ago, Ukraine was the third most powerful nuclear power in the world. It dismantled its nuclear arsenal in exchange for the Budapest Memorandum "commitment" by Russia, Britain and the …

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Marathon musings: who is a hero?

Don't read this if you're tired of the non-stop coverage of the Marathon bombing.  Don't read it if you're not touched in some way by the tragedy that befell individual runners and bystanders or disturbed by the assault on our community.  Have there been efforts to capitalize on the grief and memorialization of the event?  The profit …

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Shame on Brandeis

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is, indeed, a controversial figure, especially for the vehemence with which she has criticized Islamic fundamentalism.  Just read her memoir Infidel, and you'll understand why.  Her childhood was spent in Somalia, Saudi Arabia and Kenya, where she survived genital mutilation, physical and emotional abuse, parental attempts at forced marriage and all the forms …

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Selfie, shmelfie – where will it end?

Four months ago, when the Oxford English Dictionary named "selfie" the 2013 word of the year, I had never even heard of it. In the last couple of days, it's almost all I've heard.  Of course, there was the selfie taken by President Obama of himself and Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, a comely lass, …

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